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Rep. Grim Urges Call to Action One Year After East Palestine Train Disaster

February 5, 2024
Michele Grim News

COLUMBUS – State Rep. Michele Grim (D-Toledo) today reflected on the one-year anniversary of the East Palestine train derailment.  

“The derailment that shocked the country one year ago was unfortunately much less shocking for anybody with any familiarity with the rail industry. The freight industry is operating with a dangerous lack of oversight and regulation, putting workers and communities like East Palestine alike at significant risk,” said Rep. Grim, ranking member on the Ohio House Transportation Committee. “I will continue to work to put forward commonsense solutions that bring awareness and actual legislation to an often-unnoticed arena. We are in need of proactive solutions for communities that put people first, not just intervention after a crisis.”

Alongside her Democratic colleagues in the Ohio House of Representatives, Rep. Grim sent a letter to members of the Ohio House Finance Committee and the Ohio House Transportation Subcommittee of Finance with suggestions for the State Transportation Budget, focused on prevention, safety, and responsiveness. This included first-time-in-a-decade rail safety improvements such as mandatory two-person crews and wayside detector systems that immediately alert train crews of problems.

Rep. Grim and Ohio Senate and House Democrats also urged the governor to officially declare a disaster in East Palestine, which would have allowed for maximal support and resources from the federal government.

Rep. Grim has introduced both HR 250 (Designating Rail Safety Week in Ohio) and HB 372 (Stop, Look, Listen) to bring needed awareness regarding rail safety and introduced bi-partisan practical solutions for communities and rail workers. Rep. Grim will also continue to utilize her role as ranking member on the House Transportation Committee to advocate for rail safety.